It is not through luck or by accident that peoplebecome successful. It takes hard work, a desire for lifelong learning, a network of solid peers, coaches, mentors and contacts, and staying current with technological advancement, trends and best practices. 

Continuing education

Education is the key to a healthy mind and a successful life, and can either be formal or informal. Formal education is what we experience through structured training. Informal education could be any form of learning outside the standard including life experiences, being mentored and hands-on training. 

Coaches and mentors

The benefits from a mentoring relationship are priceless because you have someone with greater knowledge and experience to turn to for advice.  Some of the benefits of finding strong coaches and mentors are: increased self-confidence and self-esteem; professional career growth; skills enhancement; identifying weak areas and turning them into potential successes; enhancing problem analysis; reducing the feeling of low self-worth and frustration; providing an opportunity to think about a better work role and career; and focused attention in the aspect of training and development.


There is a belief that networking is the single most powerful career tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual. Networking is about making connections and building relationships. Networking also can become a way to exchange information, contacts, referrals and provide goodwill. Networking can lead to new relationships, new opportunities and greater accomplishments. Networking can occur anywhere, but the key is you must make it happen. Our industry provides opportunities through various forums and joining ASA’s Women in Industry is a key place to get started.

Utilize technology

These days almost all companies have a presence on the Internet. As a professional, you should as well but you need to make sure your presence aligns with your professional goals. Here are some tips for dealing with technology and social media.

  • Survey the landscape. Know what technology is available and what it can do. You don’t always need the latest, but understand its capabilities.
  • Talk to people. Ask your customers how they use social media. Find out what is working for them or how your company can interact with their company on social media to build a better relationship. People use social media differently so having the conversation will spark ideas how you can use it.
  • Be yourself. Post or tweet authentically.
  • Don’t rant. You want to be yourself online but as a professional, your company and customers can see what you post. Make sure it is appropriate.
  • Take a break. Making time to unplug from technology and social media is important too.

Trends and best practices

It goes without saying that if you ignore trends and best practices, you will become outdated. Committing yourself to making it better where you work and in what you do will always keep you current in the workplace and in life. Present yourself as someone who is open to change and helps to drive change.

Perhaps you will be the next trendsetter! 


 Author bios: Stephanie Ewing (Affillated Distributors), Melanie Felladore (TORRCO) and Ashley Martin (NIBCO) serve on the ASA Women in Industry Division Executive Council, a group focused on providing women in the PHCP/PVF industry with the opportunity to connect, empower, inform, educate and engage. Visit for more information.